Coypu (Ragondin)

Good day, all.

We have a pond on a neighbour’s property - right on the border - he’s an “absentee farmer” and his field is fallow at the moment.
At least one coypu has moved into the area - there are probably more.
I don’t see the farmer often and have no idea where he lives to contact him.
Is there any authority I can contact to get rid of the creatures (I’m not an advocate of killing wildlife normally, but these are a nuisance).
Strangely, I mentioned the matter to Frenchman a while back and he didn’t say anything about who to contact, just gave me a lecture on how dangerous ‘ragondins’ can be for dogs and humans.

Hi Ian

Have a word at your Mairie… they will know what… if anything… could/should be done and who to contact.

I saw a few sitting beside the road in the morning as I passed through Argenton last year. stopped and watched them for a while. They were eating the grass I think.

Contact the local Chasse, they will tell you what you can and can’t do. It depends on what the local regs are for the current eason re ‘controlling’ them.
There’s bound to be more, maybe dozens and they multiply quickly. Maybe the latest cold snap may have killed a few off tho’.
Yes John, the are herbivores so grass is a very nice meal for them.

I’ve never heard of these animals before. Why are they a nuisance? What are they doing?

They are known as Coypu in the UK, they destroy river and lake banks by burrowing, causes much erosion and potentially lead to catastrophic flooding.

They encourage the collapse of riverbanks and lake shores etc by eating the roots of plants that consolidate them. They wreck habitat for European otters and beavers watervoles etc. They are a vector for leptospirosis and god knows what else (though I think that if you want to make a creature an enemy you call it a plague rat).
They were imported for fur in the 19th century and obviously got loose and are on the increase because man has stupidly wiped out the bigger predators that would keep numbers down. You can apparently make pâté out of them but then I expect you could out of anything.
Cars are their main enemies I should think.
They are quite sweet creatures, very graceful when you see them swimming, I like them.

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I think people are anti them partly because of their habits but also because they have unfortunate big orange buck teeth, rather piggy little eyes and long leathery ratty tails, none of which people-in-general find endearing.

Only seen them a couple of times. They look quite cute…had no idea of the damage they do though.

Haha, you could bet there would be a recipe for them. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I see them on my way to work on the verge near my house most mornings when the weather is nice, they sit squirrelishly but walk like beavers. They swim terrifically well. If you are on the A61 stop at aire de Port Lauragais, there are lots there swimming in the canal and begging for food.

I’ve had a look on the internet and it seems they are the animals I see now and again on the side of the road having been hit by cars. I have often wondered what these bizarre brown creatures were. Well now I know. Thanks for explaining Vero.

First time we saw them was on holiday here. We were able to get within about 20ft. Might keep our distance now having read some of the comments!

Thank you, everyone. They do look cute and I’m sure they would appear endearing to me if they weren’t a danger to my dogs (I’m led to believe they will attack) and if their urine weren’t a danger to me and my wife (in a similar way to that of rats, I believe).
To me they are a pest, a nuisance, etc. and I would like them gone.

“Cet animal est très méchant, quand on l’attaque il se défend” I don’t think they are an active danger to dogs at all. They are shy mainly crepuscular semi-aquatic rodents for goodness’ sake !:slight_smile:
Like many plants and creatures we consider pests they are just in the wrong place - we are responsible for their introduction.

One of my neighbour’s dogs is a danger to them. A few times every year she and her sidekick disappear down to the river and she returns muddy and bitten while the sidekick is merely wet. I know it’s ragonda they hunt because I often find the jawbone and teeth.
In our area they do a lot of damage to the river banks.

There were a few near to our old house and I grew to dislike them intently- simply because the cat used to go brawling with them and it cost me a fortune in vets fees getting him put back together :slight_smile:
But, yes it was basically the cat’s fault for thinking he was a hard nut…

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Many years ago some friends had a Mill with many outbuildings that they turned into holiday accomodation. They offered fishing holidays on their river, the Ragondins caused so much damage to the banks that one fisherman fell in. Talks of being sued meant that they had to eradicate the animals. This was, I believe, done by using poisoned apples ! They will ‘beg’ for food, it’s a big problem because when they have young they do look cute, but once you start to feed them they will never go away so better not to start. For the moment I have none around my étang, maybe it’s because there are dogs, foxes, and lots of cats around. :thinking:

There used to be a restaurant in Norwich which served coypu.

My father’s crops were wiped out a few times in the '50s & 60s on the Norfolk Broads because of the coypu. The county council set up the ‘Coypu Control’ in which men and vans were employed to keep the numbers down such was their voracity. They/we used to set the traps in the evening and empty them the following morning. We would find about a dozen each morning over an area of 10 acres.
These are not cuddly creatures but vicious (if cornered) and are a real pest.

Nice little coypu aka nutria (they are always called nutria when they are coats etc :frowning:).